By Joey Kercher.
When we speak with brands about the goals behind their experiential and event marketing campaigns, we typically hear answers such as “gaining exposure for our brand” or “kicking off a new product launch,” but the deeper thread found in these answers is to build brand loyalty. Building brand loyalty has the potential to gain exposure, kick off a new product launch and generate repeat sales for a brand.
Building brand loyalty is immensely valuable for brands and businesses because loyalty is a driving factor behind sales. Studies from the Gartner Group have shown that 80% of all revenue is derived from 20% of all customers and a study from Bain reported that repeat customers spend approximately 67% more than new customers. In fact, a mere 5% increase in loyal customers would mean a 25% to 100% increased profit per loyal customer, according to The Loyalty Effect.
The Human Engagement Piece
One of the best ways to build brand loyalty and create lifelong customers is to add an element of human engagement to your brand through event marketing. The connection between the customer and the live person at your event can help put a face on your brand and establish an emotional response to your brand. A brand ambassador at an experiential marketing event is able to act as more than a salesperson representing your product, service and brand; they can spend time connecting on a deeper level with potential customers. Brand ambassadors might demonstrate your product to customers or show them how to sign up for your company’s app. They might provide samples of your product or give customers the chance to try your product. The goal is to showcase what you can do for your customers and to provide a human face to answer potential customer’s questions.
To determine the best course of action for your experiential marketing campaign, consider what your goal is for such a campaign. Are you interested in getting customers to sign up for a new app? Do you want customers to associate a feeling with your brand? Are you looking to build customer loyalty or brand awareness? Once you know why you want to run the campaign, you can begin building a campaign that will meet those goals.
At Air Fresh Marketing, we have run numerous campaigns dedicated to building brand loyalty that leveraged human engagement. One such campaign was for a luxury British perfume brand. For this engagement, we had brand ambassadors dressed up in Royal British military uniforms stand with the perfume at select store locations. The role of the brand ambassador was to engage one-on-one with customers as they came into the store. The uniform added a novel element that resulted in an increase of social media posts for the brand from customers taking photos with the brand ambassadors.
The goal of the event was not necessarily to sell perfume that day, but to create a positive first impression of the brand with potential customers. Brand ambassadors were able to share the scent of the perfume as well as share more information about the brand itself all while creating a positive and fun experience. The uniform made the brand ambassadors approachable and gave potential customers a fun reason to connect with the brand ambassadors. The interaction left potential customers with a positive feeling for the brand and strengthened their positive emotional connection to the brand, which is one of the cornerstones towards building brand loyalty.
Remember, growing your brand loyalty figures requires not only a superior product or service but also the creation of a brand experience with a human engagement element. Find your own way as a brand to create positive interactions that build a positive emotional connection between your consumers and your brand.
By Joey Kercher
President and CEO of Air Fresh Marketing, a full-service event staffing and execution marketing agency.